Sunday, December 10, 2006

Hey, who wants hamburgers!?

I guess going for the creepy angle has been a viable marketing strategy for some time now, what with Verizon's 'can you hear me now?' guy, the non-threatening-yet-still-off-putting Jared from Subway and the little girl with the elephant who rehapsodizes about "the mirrors!" in the DLP commercials (who I believe was last seen holding hands with her also-murdered twin sister and accosting a toddler riding his Big Wheel in the hallway of the Overlook Hotel). But no company has embraced creepy like the Burger King people.
Holy crap.
Of course, there's the ubiquitous King himself, whether inserting himself in football highlights or showing up in someone's bedroom or just standing there and silently leering, he's everywhere, hoping his silent plasticine presence will make you want to buy hamburgers. If that's not enough, they also have...

The Whopper Family, with a series of commercials featuring a hamburger father (the Whopper) in constant generational conflict with his hamburger son (Whopper Jr.), highlighted by lines like "I will knock your buns into next week, fella!". Dysfunctional = delicious!

The lascivious motivational speaker Dr. Angus who, like the King, has what looks like molded plastic hair and a Meg Ryanesque perma-smile grafted on to his face. He gropes women while extolling the virtues of better living through hamburgers. Yum!

The office drones whose job, I guess, is to insult each other and eat lunch at Burger King every day, since that's all they do. It's just like the show "The Office", only not funny and with hamburgers.

Look, Burger King, you were, are and always will be the White Sox to McDonald's Cubs; the second most popular team in a two team town, no matter what, even when you produce a better product. I know you're trying for some kind of edgy, off kilter, quirky alterna-credibility with the kids but I just don't think it's going to work. You're a multi-national fast food corporation. Named "Burger King". How edgy can you possibly ever hope to be when your corporate mission statement, to be recognized as the king of burgers, is so clearly stated? Answer: not very. So accept the fact that you're #2. People, including kids, love you and your food. Second place money is still pretty good isn't it? And stop using your advertising to give me the heebie jeebies. Thanks.

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